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Blinn’s McMullen seeks answers to erasing the engineering gender gap

Campus president will participate in workshop alongside 40 national engineering leaders

June 2, 2015

Sylvia McMullenA Blinn College administrator is working with engineering leaders from across the nation to develop strategies for erasing the gender gap in engineering education.

Sylvia McMullen, president of Brazos County campuses at Blinn College, will participate June 11-12 in a Transforming Undergraduate Education in Engineering (TUEE) workshop discussing methods to encourage women’s enrollment and retention in undergraduate engineering programs.

During the workshop, approximately 40 participants from academia, professional societies, selected federal agencies and industry will develop and refine an action agenda to address the gender gap in undergraduate engineering programs. A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce found that only one in seven engineers is female, and women have seen no employment growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs since 2000.

McMullen will serve as the workshop’s community college representative.

“I’m looking forward to meeting many of the nation’s leaders in engineering education and sharing with them some of the projects Blinn College is engaged in to open engineering career pathways to students throughout Texas,” she said.
Blinn is home to the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn, a unique co-enrollment program that allows students a gateway to Texas A&M University’s Dwight Look College of Engineering. Beginning this Fall, the Engineering Academy is expanding to Blinn’s Brenham campus, where students will participate in a one-of-a-kind living and learning community.

Blinn recently announced a new Associate of Science engineering degree and is currently working to develop research-intensive communities to expand undergraduate student research opportunities.

The TUEE workshop is part of a multi-phase, multi-year sequence of meetings established by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to transform the undergraduate engineering experience. TUEE is designed to develop a clear understanding of the knowledge, skills and abilities next-generation engineering graduates should possess and the changes that will be needed to instill those qualities.

The project seeks to catalyze change by building consensus within the engineering community on a shared vision of the future of engineering education. The aim of the project is to enumerate critical steps for the vision to be achieved and coordinate the pursuit of each critical step throughout the engineering education community.

About Blinn College
A comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement, Blinn College has served its 13-county Central Texas region since 1883. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.

Blinn offers job seekers the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the region’s fast-growing industries, and partners with local businesses to provide skills development training for incumbent employees. Each year, Blinn programs and students make a $345.3 million impact on the local economy.

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